PROCEDURE FOR SEA CONTAINERS
Declaration in cargo manifest
The cargo manifest declaration is one of the most important and the first requirement for importing cargo into Fiji as it helps BAF to conduct risk profiling on the manifest and ascertain which cargo requires biosecurity inspection. This declaration must be sent 48 hours prior to the vessel’s arrival and contains information such as container number, origin (where the container was packed), name and address of the exporter and importer and a complete and accurate description of the contents, including packaging and treatment certifications (if applicable).
Inspection of containers
Shipping containers, if not properly cleaned and stored, are essentially transport mediums for exotic pests, diseases and other containments such as soil. Insects can hitchhike to Fiji attached to the sides or surfaces of shipping containers or in small corners and tiny cracks on the container. Hence, Biosecurity Officers inspect all the exterior surfaces of the containers for pest infestation and/or contamination by soil while the containers are being unloaded at the wharf upon arrival in Fiji. If a pest or contamination is found, the container is removed or treated before it can proceed for further inspection or clearance.
Inspection of goods
Biosecurity Officers also inspect the goods, packing and the interior of the container for pests and contamination. The inside of the container is also a very good hideout for insect pests and small animals.
In addition to inspecting the containers, the Biosecurity Officers also inspect imported goods to ensure that the goods are safe and free from harmful pests and diseases. The officers verify the relevant documents required to import the particular product(s) into Fiji such as the BAF import permit, phytosanitary certificate for import of all plant and plant products and veterinary certificate for import of all animal and animal products, treatment certificate (if required) and transhipment permits, etc. before clearing the consignmentThe BAF import permit stipulates requirements that ensure biosecurity risks are managed offshore. If the import conditions outlined in the import permit are not complied with and/or all required documents are not present, then BAF will take appropriate measures to eliminate any biosecurity risks. These measures can range from detention of the goods for verification, treatment of the goods or destruction. Upon inspection, once all the import conditions are met and no biosecurity risk is detected, the goods are released. Biosecurity treatment for imported goods includes fumigation, steam cleaning and spraying amongst others.